Stepping outside the normal methodologies to find birth family

To continue on where I left off last night, I spent a few hours fleshing out all but one son for a potential family an adoptee resides in. Well, it could be the son our birth mother is looking for. However, I am usually good enough to eliminate possibilities by getting everyone in the family identified with at least a name and birth date.

In the case of tonight I was able to identify sixty people within this family. I am talking grandparents, siblings, their children and so on. All the effort was to flesh out a single family of two parents and six children. I literally have marriages, divorces, and some children identified. Yet there is one son I can find nothing on.

I resorted to finding one of his siblings Facebook page and scoured her posts, friends, and any likely other siblings in “likes” or links leading elsewhere. Yet this one individual is never mentioned. Why do I think he exists at all? I have at least two family trees on Ancestry that show the number of males and females anonymously residing below the parents and family I am working with. Each of those trees seem well documented, but nothing about this one guy.

Unfortunately in this family the obituaries are very vague about immediate family. They describe the individual but not his living relatives. It is pretty rare for me to come across an obituary that does not even mention the name of the wife, let alone the children or grandchildren.

I took time out to tell my wife she better plant a huge gargoyle over my gravestone and make it look like H.P. Lovecraft himself would never forget my tombstone. I may not be able to have a mountain named after me when I pass away, but I sure as heck will not go quietly into the night as I have witnessed with countless people in find-a-grave listings and vague obituaries.

So I finally decided lacking anymore-genuine leads to move forward with, I was going to do something unconventional. I spent a dollar on Facebook and contacted the sister of this brother I could not identify. I sent her a message saying that I was a genealogist who was working with another individual and that we came across her family. I then proceeded to name everyone in her family; parents, siblings, et al. Then I asked her if she would be so kind as to name the remaining brother I could not identify. To ease the odd question, I apologized for approaching out of the blue and acknowledged the weirdness of my request, coming from a stranger. However, I assured her, even if she could answer if her brother was born in such and such place on a specific date, which would be enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Now, this individual had not posted on Facebook since late June of this year. So she very well may not answer this message, if at all. I am not going to stop looking. I have already made an attempt to contact the two other people hosting trees to see if they will reveal this individual to me. Most people confronted with an abundance of information on everyone else they thought strangers could not identify with, usually follow a logical line of thinking that eventually I will find out who it is, so why not tell me.

Plus if my aim were to harass this family, why would I bother to identify myself over Facebook and ask a question like this? It’s not like I am a creditor and this is our new way of finding people; over Facebook chat messages posing as genealogists? Ha! I spend far more than I get in donations. Maybe once I feel that I have sufficiently found all the people I can for birth parents and adoptees I can use this new scheme to find people who owe the IRS or some other creditor! Nah, hardly something motivational enough to justify this much digging. Let’s just hope our potential family member responds to my chat message in a constructive way, or I am going to have to go about this from a different angle I have not yet considered.